• Everfree Northwest Releases Public Statement About Last Week's Drama

    A little over a week ago, there was a mountain of drama broiling from Everfree Northwest over the firing of fandom artist Midnight Premier from their convention staff. She was not told why, and only that she'd find out in a week. There is plenty of speculation going on about the exact reason (though "Trust issues" were eventually somewhat settled on), so we won't go into that, but this eventually lead her to Twitter where Kyle Elliott, the president of the company that manages the con went on a tirade about her dragging it into the public.

    The way he phrased it was pretty ugly, battling with multiple vendors and artists around the fandom via his Twitter Account while demanding an apology from Midnight. Needless to say, his tone did not sit well with the art community, and many called for a boycott of the convention as a whole if something wasn't done. Kyle himself absolutely refused to back down and as far as I have seen, hasn't apologized.

    The PR nightmare continued over the last week while EFNW worked on an explanation. Out of respect for the convention, we wanted to wait for a clear statement before we posted anything about it here on EQD. It has now arrived.  I've popped it down below the break if you want to read it and make your own conclusions.

    Everfree Northwest's Public Statement:

    As promised, the executive team for Everfree Northwest 2019 would like to publicly address recent events involving our convention. We sincerely appreciate the community’s patience while we (continue to) work through this internally. We’re dedicated to continue providing a safe, welcoming, and magical convention.

    We know people are upset, and we are actively working to reconcile directly with those involved. We understand the community is passionate about this (a good thing!), but it's much easier to resolve these issues directly with affected parties instead of publicly on Twitter. And to that end, we want to acknowledge our own part and mistakes.

    This issue began as a private staffing matter when Scott/Thornwing, the Everfree Northwest 2019 Chair, removed an artist from design staff after consulting with executive and design department management. The artist was understandably upset upon receiving notice of the decision to remove them from staff. Without receiving an immediate response to a different email inquiry, the artist took to Twitter to voice their concerns in public. This action was followed soon after by questions sent to the @EverfreeNW Twitter account asking for information concerning the board of directors of Pegasi Northwest, the 501(c)(3) company that manages Everfree Northwest. Kyle Elliott, the President of the Board of Pegasi Northwest, made contact with the artist and certain arrangements concerning the matter were discussed. Very soon after that meeting, the parties involved split in disagreement on how things should proceed. The situation escalated in the public view as Kyle fiercely defended the convention and its staff. Many things were said on all sides of the argument both in public and through Twitter direct messages to Kyle, including anti-semitic slurs, intentional lies and half-truths, and even a death threat. The response to those posts resulted in issuing of attendance bans.

    As a rule, we only ever ban people for egregious violations of our Code of Conduct, and we can assure the community that "mass bannings" will not be happening. If you are wondering if you have been banned, it is more than likely that you have not been. Due to the inherently private nature of individual attendance bans, we do not maintain a public “ban list”, and we will refrain from commenting on these issues publically. If you are personally unsure about your standing with the event, please contact us at chairs@everfreenw.com. Out of respect for each individual’s privacy, we cannot respond to third-party inquiries about whether specific people have been or may be banned.

    Another factor to recognize is that while confronting this issue, Kyle has been dealing with critical health complications due to his diabetes this past week leading up to his hospitalization and diagnosis that his deteriorating condition contributed to his volatile mood. In other words, he was already under immense medical stress when all this happened, and he regrets that those complications may have affected the situation in any way.

    Additionally, subsequent attempts to further mediate and reconcile privately with involved parties are currently stalled by the individual’s hesitance to discuss the matter further. In the current state, we are open to further talks to resolve as much as we can.

    We value every individual involved with Everfree Northwest, be they VIP, community guest, vendor, artist, attendee or staff. Not only is everyone welcome, but everyone is important. Putting on an amazing event for our community is our number one priority. Everfree Northwest would not be the same without the dedicated vendors, staff, and attendees that support us each year.

    While there were good intentions and mitigating medical circumstances underlying the initial blow-up, we still acknowledge our role in this and ask for forgiveness as the entire Everfree staff moves forward with our mission of bringing Equestria to Earth for Three Days. We hope to see you in May!


    The Everfree Northwest 2019 Executive Team